A big game hunter is facing international controversy for killing a ‘big tusker’ elephant.
Leon Kachelhoffer is a professional hunter who is paid by clients all over the world to help her track and hunt some of Africa’s most dangerous animals.
Most recently, he was paid $ 50,000 (£ 38,312) to kill the largest elephant that has been professionally hunted since 1996.
The elephant is known as a ‘big tusker’ or a ‘hundred pound’ for its large and its iconic enormous fangs.
A second elephant was also killed, presumably 90 pounds.
The hundred-pound was thought to be in his 50s – past breeding age – and was killed with one shot.
Mr Kachelhoffer was immediately hit with criticism online and has since made his Facebook profile private.
But he went on to defend the hunt for podcast Blood Origins host Robbie Kroger.
He said: ‘To be in a position to hunt such a bull is an incredible privilege.
‘When you take such a bull, there is a lot of remorse, a lot of sadness, you think of the great life that this elephant has led.
‘You know, there’s more to it than shooting a bull, taking a picture, becoming a hero and all that other nonsense.’
He argued that hunting is a ‘sustainable conservation tool’ that also helps fuel the economy by creating jobs and food for the country’s local population while attracting tourism there.
Indeed, Mr. Kachelhoffer’s yacht provided work for his trackers and meat for 350 surrounding villages.
Elephant hunting last year raised $ 2.7 million for the country’s economy.
Hunters have long claimed to contribute to conservation, mostly because they provide a financial, commercial incentive to manage and protect wildlife.
Activists say the number of animal populations should be more of a priority and believe that financial incentives can be provided in other ways.
Botswana has become famous and has changed between different trophy hunting policies.
It was only reintroduced in 2019 when current President Mokgweetsi Masisi made a U-turn on the ban of his predecessor Ian Khama.
Mr Khama said: ‘This was one of the largest, if not the largest tusker in the country. An elephant that tour operators constantly sought to show tourists as an iconic attraction. Now it’s dead.
‘How the death toll benefits our declining tourism [industry]? Incompetence and poor management have almost wiped out the rhino population, and now this! ‘
Campaign To Ban Trophy Hunting founder Eduardo Goncalves stressed that Mr Khama’s ban was responsible for how Botswana was able to stabilize its elephant population, while the number decreased in the rest of Africa.
Mr Goncalves told Metro.co.uk: ‘Botswana is now home to one third of all elephants in Africa.
‘It is the key to the extinction of the species, which is now classified as endangered in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
‘More elephants are killed by poachers and trophy hunters than are born every year.
‘Elephants go into genetic decay when trophy hunters shoot the biggest animals with the biggest fangs. This means they are more susceptible to disease.
‘Elephant teeth are now getting shorter and more adult elephants are less canine due to persecution.
‘That means they can survive the increasingly severe droughts of climate change less, because they can no longer get water under dry river beds.’
Mr Goncalves went on to blow British trophy hunters for ‘among the most productive elephant hunters’ in the world.
He then called on the British government to ban trophies from elephants and other vulnerable species.
Metro.co.uk has contacted Mr Kachelhoffer for comment.
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Trophy hunter 'pays $ 50,000 to kill one of Botswana's biggest elephants'
Source link Trophy hunter 'pays $ 50,000 to kill one of Botswana's biggest elephants'